The No.8 unit of Baihetan hydropower station officially started commercial operation on Thursday, so half of the power generation units at the station are now in commercial operation.
After passing a 72-hour trial operation, the No.8 power generation unit of Baihetan, which is the last one on the left bank, was successfully connected to the power grid on Thursday, according to a statement sent to the Global Times from China Three Gorges Corp, the operator of the station.
So far, all the units put into operation in Baihetan are in safe and stable operation, with cumulative power generation of more than 41 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh), said Three Gorges Corp. The station has a total installed capacity of 16 million kilowatts.
Baihetan station straddles the provinces of Yunnan and Sichuan in Southwest China and is located on the Jinsha River in the upper section of the Yangtze River. It is a mega project in China's west-east power transmission program, which aims to transmit electricity from the resource-rich western part of China to energy-hungry regions in eastern China.
After reaching full operation, Baihetan hydropower station will be the world's second-largest of its kind after China's Three Gorges Dam. The station can generate 62.4 billion kWh of clean electricity every year, cutting the usage of 19.68 million tons of standard coals and reducing emissions equivalent to 51.6 million tons of carbon dioxide. The station will also be able to power electricity consumption for 75 million people.
Baihetan hydropower station is the most technically difficult hydropower project under construction in the world today, dubbed the Mount Qomolangma of the hydropower industry. The optimal efficiency of the turbine for power generators is 96.7 percent, ranking at the world's leading level, according to China Three Gorges Corp.